Children are recommended for a psychological assessment due to various factors. These may include challenges with attention or behaviour at home or school, experiences of bullying, feelings of depression or anxiety, or the presence of a learning disorder.
When children encounter difficulties in academics or lag behind their peers in development, a counsellor or teacher may propose a psychological assessment. The results of such an evaluation provide insights into the child’s strengths and areas that may require attention, such as identifying potential undiagnosed learning disabilities.
Who Performs a Psychological Assessment?
Assessments are done by highly trained child psychologists who are experienced and specialists in their field. These mental health specialists evaluate the child’s strengths and weaknesses so that a plan can be made for parents and teachers, to help with the child’s progress.
The Different Types of Psychological Assessments
Psychological assessments for children encompass a diverse range of tools and methodologies designed to explore and understand various aspects of a child’s mental and emotional well-being. One common type is the cognitive assessment, which evaluates a child’s intellectual abilities, memory, and problem-solving skills. These assessments, such as the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC), help identify cognitive strengths and potential areas of improvement.
Emotional and behavioural assessments focus on a child’s feelings, social interactions, and conduct. The Behavior Assessment System for Children (BASC) and the Achenbach System of Empirically Based Assessment (ASEBA) are examples that aid in diagnosing emotional and behavioural disorders.
Another crucial category is developmental assessments, which assess a child’s skills and milestones in areas like language, motor skills, and social development. Widely used tools include the Ages and Stages Questionnaires (ASQ) and the Denver Developmental Screening Test.
Additionally, assessments for specific disorders, such as ADHD or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), help in early diagnosis and tailored intervention. These evaluations, often involving interviews, observations, and standardised tests, collectively contribute to a comprehensive understanding of a child’s psychological profile, guiding educators, clinicians, and parents in supporting the child’s optimal development.
Psychological assessments are a useful tool to provide a detailed report of results and recommendations for your child. The report will include details about your child’s strengths or difficulties, strategies for learning and education, strategies for emotional behaviour, identification of ADHD, dyslexia, giftedness, and any additional support and considerations that will help in educational settings.